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Bill Belichick Nudges Meteorologists For Inaccuracy; Meteorologists Would Be Hall of Fame Coach

The Patriots head coach threw a friendly barb at the local weatherpersons. Is that fair?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick only cares about this upcoming Sunday. You might say that he doesn't care for anything beyond the seven day forecast- or maybe the four day prediction for Thursday Night Football. So when asked a question about the weather on Sunday, Belichick had a little fun with his answer at the expense of weather forecasters:

"If I did my job the way they do theirs," Belichick said at a press conference. "I'd be here about a week."

For a coach with a 0.657 career winning rate, or a 0.728 rate in New England, that's a pretty high bar for comparison.

But is it fair?

First off, you have to realize that meteorologists are like the talking heads that Belichick dismisses so easily; the local weatherperson will always err on the side of caution when making a prediction. It is, of course, better to be safe and holding a unnecessary umbrella than be in the rain without- so the local weatherperson will cry "rain" more than the actual prognosticators.

Consider the local personality Mike Ditka always picking the Bears on Sunday. Look to the government agencies if you want you find the version of the Vegas oddsmakers.

Turns out, the agencies aren't that bad.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accurate on 90-day forecasts roughly 60% of the time. There are 25 coaches with 100+ games that have a 0.600+ winning rate. Of those coaches, pretty much all should be in the Hall of Fame or a future nominee. The list includes the likes of John Madden, Paul Brown, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Joe Gibbs, Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, and more.

So maybe if an NFL head coach performed like a weatherman, they'd be a Hall of Fame candidate.

Five day temperature forecasts are roughly 77% accurate if you just base it off of the prior day's temperature. Four day overall forecasts are accurate 66% of the time, within three degrees- roughly a field goal. Either of those rates would make a coach a hall of fame lock.

But Belichick is right to have some concern, especially when it comes to precipitation. Forecasts will generally predict gloom and doom and lots of rain for ultimately clear days, roughly until the week before. On the flip side, they generally don't start correctly expecting heavy rain until two or three days prior.

How is this any different from being a coach? No one has a game plan concocted seven days prior to kickoff. It's generally more-and-more refined as the week wears on and the players get to practice. It's likely the locker room isn't ready until three days before.

So, Bill, give the weathermen a break. The forecasts have eased off the expectation of snow and downgraded itself to a morning of chilly rain. That's a forecast you can count on.